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Friday, June 28, 2013
Pitching in: Wells has hitless ninth

By Doug Padilla

Sox outfielder Casper Wells pitched one scoreless inning in Game 1 Friday.

CHICAGO -- The good news for the Chicago White Sox is that outfielder Casper Wells helped save the bullpen in Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader with a hitless ninth inning of relief.

Now the bad news: Wells was the best White Sox “pitcher” on the night and the only one not to give up a hit.

With White Sox pitchers getting clubbed hard, Wells finished the 19-10 defeat to the Cleveland Indians with his major league debut on the mound. A former pitcher in college, Wells gave up a walk while facing just four batters.

Starting pitcher Hector Santiago gave up five runs in 2 1/3 innings, reliever Brian Omogrosso gave up nine in his 2 1/3 innings and Ramon Troncoso gave up five runs (four earned) in 2 2/3 innings. Matt Lindstrom pitched two-thirds of an inning, but gave up two hits.

Wells not only struck out Asdrubal Cabrera on a breaking ball for the second out of the ninth inning, but he was the only White Sox pitcher to prevent Jason Kipnis from reaching base in his seven trips to the plate. Of course, left fielder Alejandro De Aza had to make a running catch on the warning track to make that happen.

Kipnis ended the game with three doubles and three walks.

“Yeah, we've got to a couple games to go through so you're trying to save some arms and see how you're going to get through it and see how you can manage it,” manager Robin Ventura said between games of the doubleheader.

The coaching staff considered using Wells on the mound during the White Sox’s 16-inning victory at Seattle on June 5. Had that game gone one more inning, Wells would have pitched.

If the situation arises again, Ventura won’t be afraid to use the right-hander, who hit as high as 91 mph on the radar gun.

“Yeah, he'll probably get another chance somewhere down the road,” Ventura said.

After the half inning, Wells was all smiles in the dugout, even giving a hug to De Aza for his catch. There wasn’t a lot of time to bask in the moment, though. Wells was the starting right fielder, batting eighth in the second game of the doubleheader.